“This story begins almost 6 years ago on December 1, 2013.
My only child at the time, Luke, was 4 years old and I decided to turn on my iPhone video and ask him what he wanted for Christmas. He immediately said, ‘I want a baby brother named Benjamin!’ Now, this was quite a shock to me as I had just recently gotten re-married and had never talked to Luke about having a sibling.
Two weeks later, Luke gently poked me in my stomach and said, ‘There is a baby in there.’ Again, total disbelief as my new husband and I were not trying to conceive and were planning on waiting a year before trying for another child. Then, the day before Christmas Eve, I took a pregnancy test which turned positive and we rejoiced in Luke’s Christmas wish coming true.
Mid-way through my pregnancy, an ultrasound confirmed that baby was indeed a boy and ‘Baby Benjamin’ he became…or actually already was! This is very important to my story because I believe my sons had a soul connection before being on this earth plane together and know that their bond will continue no matter where each of them resides.
I had an uncomplicated pregnancy and Benjamin arrived safely one day past his due date on September 1, 2014 (only 6 weeks after Luke turned 5 years old).
Luke was beyond happy and lovingly took on the role of big brother. He was a very high energy child but he could also emit a calming healing energy and was very alert to when someone wasn’t feeling well. During our newborn photo shoot, Benjamin started fussing and Luke immediately put his hands on him to help calm him down. His instincts to lay his hands and speak softly were truly amazing. He loved and cared for his baby brother and had no problem sharing me, his Mama, which seemed very mature for a 5-year-old boy.
And not only was he fine with sharing, he actually put Benjamin’s needs in front of his own and as soon as Benjamin made a peep, Luke would tell me what he needed. In my newborn euphoria and sleep-deprived state, I didn’t really realize it at the time that Luke was actually able to anticipate Benjamin’s needs. Luke had never even been around a newborn baby before so it was even more unbelievable that he could even know what Benjamin required.
11 weeks after Benjamin was born, we had another family photo shoot, this time for pictures for our much anticipated Christmas card. Now, looking back, I find it odd that I had decided to do this so soon after our newborn photo shoot, but I am so very glad something inside me told me to do so.
We had another set of family photographs taken on November 18, 2014. Those pictures are the last I have of my beautiful boy, Luke, in my arms. Just three days later, my sweet beloved boy left our world to move to Heaven.
It was a Friday afternoon and my precious Luke was playing with two other kids in front of our house when he was accidentally struck in the chest by a boy with a baseball bat. His little heart was jolted out of rhythm, sending him into cardiac arrest, an incredibly rare occurrence called Commotio Cordis. I was inside doing dishes when he was hit and at that exact moment, I felt a pang in my heart and heard the urgent words, ‘Check on Luke!’ I flew out the door to find him laying on the ground and cradled my dear boy in my loving arms as his magnificent soul left his physical body to go back Home.
I grew up believing that if I was a good responsible person who went to school, worked, raised a family, and generally tried to do the right thing, that I would have an easy life. I thought that things would go my way and I just figured that nothing bad would ever happen to me. I grew up going to a Lutheran church every week with my family and prayed The Lord’s Prayer every night and was thankful for my blessings. So, I thought, ‘Well I am doing my best, so God will bless me.’
Now, looking back, I see how naive and simplistic this point of view is. But at the same time, I grew up believing a certain way and just never had a reason to explore other thoughts. Well, that reason came to turn my life upside-down when my sweet Luke moved from this world to the next. That something bad happened…very very bad…and I was completely knocked off my axis. Within moments, my life completely shattered and my path was altered in a way I could never anticipate. All my hopes and dreams destroyed. My heart broken beyond repair…or so I thought.
All of a sudden, I was like, ‘Wait, what happened here?…I am not worthy of being blessed?…I prayed and God did not deliver my miracle…what did I do wrong?’ Obviously, the miracle I wanted was for God to do things MY way and to start Luke’s heart beating back in rhythm and no brain damage to have occurred and life to go back to what it was before. I think that is the miracle we all are hoping for, for things to go our way and ‘that something bad’ to go away or go back in time so it never occurs. But maybe that is not what a miracle really is. Maybe the miracle is a change in perspective and the surrendering of our human desires and the trusting in our life path even when it is so very painful.
Maybe we say: Okay God, I don’t know what is going on here and I am really really hurting but I trust that this path, which I can not even begin to comprehend at this time, will be one which leads me toward more growth, more compassion, and more love. ‘Thy will be done’ means you already know the bigger picture of my life which I can not imagine and know that transformation, and even beauty, can be birthed from this horrific destruction.
This is not easy, not easy at all. We want things to go our way. We want an easy life, but is that really what life on earth is all about? Or are we here to participate in a full range of human experiences and emotions in order to learn and evolve and move to a more advanced level of knowing? When we can shift our perspective to a higher place, we can witness the larger scope of impact. We see how the things that happen, both good and seemingly bad, have ripple effects that extend much farther out than we can initially recognize. So much good has come out of some very ‘bad’ things. It takes an opening of our eyes and hearts to fully appreciate that miracles surround us all the time and to realize that we truly are never alone, never forsaken, and never forgotten.
The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was go on living when my son left. That was before my spiritual awakening. Now, the hardest thing I have to do is go on living in a world that doesn’t know my son never left.
One of my many miracles is coming to know that my sweet boy Luke is still right here with me, just in a different way. The connection is still alive with loving energy that can never ever die. He is working with me and through me to prove that our kids, who have moved to Heaven before us, are still shining lights in our daily lives. Our precious children are actively present, sending signs of their love, and encouraging us to continue with healing steps as we move forward in life with them by our side in spirit.
I have also come to realize that I am being gently supported, guided, blessed, and loved always and in ALL WAYS. My hope is for you to come to know this as well. I am sending my love to you as you courageously open your heart to perceive your miracles, even while navigating your unique and often challenging human journey. You are a very brave soul, here on earth for a very short time, who is loved and cherished beyond measure. Let love fuel you forward on your path as you walk your way Home.”
From podcasts to video shows, parenting resources to happy tears – join the Love What Matters community and subscribe on YouTube.
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Elise Getter Kowalski of Fort Mill, South Carolina. You can follow her journey on Facebook. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
Read more powerful stories about grief:
‘Call me ASAP. It’s important.’ I had this overwhelming sensation to turn my phone over. That’s when I saw it. 37 missed calls.’: Woman loses father to suicide, pledges to ‘live life to the fullest’ for his ‘moments lost’
Provide hope for someone struggling. SHARE this story on Facebook with family and friends.